The Ancient History of Damascus Steel

Damascus-steel-swordDamascus, Syria, the birthplace of Damascus steel was prized in the ancient world for its durability but unbeknownst to the craftspeople who forged Damascus steel, the region from which the iron ore was taken had naturally occurring nickel which meant that Damascus metalsmiths had composite steel 3000 years before the rest of the world as the idea to mix different kinds of metals had not yet been invented. Damascus steel was shatter resistant and could be sharpened to become sharper than any other type of steel. Having first encountered it during the Crusades of the 11th century, European forgers attempted for centuries to recreate what their Middle Eastern counterparts had already perfected

The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 and its Impact Upon Modern Royals

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King George III married for dynastic reasons but his 2 brothers each married commoners would had been married before. George found this unacceptable as it brought the royal family disrepute. In 1772, George passed the Royal Marriages Act which stated that a monarch is permitted to decide who members of their family marry. This new law disrupted royal marriages for over 200 years, perhaps most famously in the case of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Princess Margaret also experienced problems because of this law as she was forced to ask her sister Queen Elizabeth for permission to marry a commoner as well. The royal family considered anyone not royal to be a commoner despite their wealth, fame, or aristocratic title

The Japanese Replica Home of Beatrix Potter

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Beatrix Potter’s work is highly popular in Japan as her stories were translated into Japanese relatively early on with the first translation released in 1917. Potter’s stories were used to teach English primarily but also served to entertain young children which is why her works are considered culturally important in Japan. A replica of Potter’s English countryside home has been erected in Tokyo, Japan upon the grounds of a children’s zoo situated near Daito Bunka University. The replica home is of Potter’s former home, Hill Top Farm and is exactly 33% larger than the actual home Potter lived and worked in

The Myth of Betty Crocker

Betty-Crocker

Betty Crocker is not a real person, rather she, or perhaps it, is a corporate name. The name Betty was thought to be sweet, kind, and gentle, and the last name Crocker was taken from an executive of the General Mills company. Betty Crocker was created as an advertising campaign but was promoted as a real woman. General Mills hired hoards of women to answer telephone calls posing as Betty Crocker and even had the same group of executives sign her name to ensure the signature remained consistent. The first product Betty Crocker released was a soup mix in 1941, 4 years prior to the iconic Betty Crocker cake mix which made the brand so recognizable

The Art Collection of King George IV

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King George IV’s excessive consumption was completely out of synchronization with his income with George IV needing to rely upon the British parliament multiple times to bail him out of financial ruin. George IV’s over spending was so bad that parliament actually forced him to marry in exchange for hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of debts to be forgiven. Although George IV is thought of as extravagant and profligatory, the truth is that the combined value of his collection equates to an average modern day value of £10,000,000 (£10 million) for every £1000.00 George IV spent during the 19th century. It should be noted that this large gain is due primarily to the intrinsic and irreplaceable value of the items as £1000.00 in 1800 would only be worth £83,000 as of 2019 when accounting for inflation

The Physics of the Pac-Man Universe

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The game of Pac-Man allows players to exit the world on one side, and re-enter upon a completely different side without delay. Pac-Man’s universe appears to be a flat, two dimensional, rectangular shape, but in reality it must be cylindrical like a pipe, only with the 2 ends of the pipe touching, making Pac-Man’s universe actually in the shape of a donut